Simo Dragicevic, is one of over 50 thought leaders appearing at this year’s EiG (30 October – 1 November, Arena Berlin). The BetBuddy CEO provides a preview of his presentation and argues why data is such an effective tool when it comes to building positive relationships with customers.
What is going to be the core thrust of your presentation at EiG. How would you summarise the key take outs?
The title of our session is Creating Positive Play and Smart Customer Profiling, and I think it demonstrates an emerging shift in attitudes in industry towards how data can be used to build a sustainable business. Whilst there is, and will rightly continue to be, significant focus on using data to better understand, prevent, and minimise at-risk and problematic play, the positive play concept focuses on beliefs, values, and behaviours that encourage the opposite. So I’ll be exploring how empirical research and behavioural profiling can be used to build positive relationships with customers. The panel also includes Lonnie Hamm from Kindred, who I know well and who is doing awesome things with data in a very progressive and successful gaming group, so it will be great for the industry to hear more about the latest developments.
Do you think the gaming industry can be criticised for being too intrusive and knowing too much about its customers. Is there a moral argument that needs to be explored?
Yes, there is an ethical and moral argument for sure, but I don’t think the gaming industry should be singled out. For example, Facebook has built an incredibly successful advertising business based on very deep knowledge of its users. It’s so successful that 26% of all Facebook users who click on an advert in the US made a purchase – I think that’s incredible! The gaming industry is also realising that its most powerful asset is data, and it’s natural that operators are investing considerably in teams and platforms to understand customers better. However, there is a business and moral argument that putting your customer first means using that data to understand their needs and offering relevant products and services. From an ethical perspective, this means that operators should not target vulnerable customers irresponsibly and that customers always know what data is being collected and used what it will be used for. With regulations such as GDPR on the horizon, transparency in how data is used will become increasingly critical to the industry.
Gaming is one of the earliest adopters of new technology – can the advances pioneered by gaming be translated to other commercial sectors and if so, which ones?
The gaming industry has pioneered some aspects of using technology to protect consumers that other industries have adopted, and can further adopt. Gaming was one of the first industries to adopt age verification technology, which has become widespread across many industries now. I can see how some of the advances made in gaming in using data and machine learning for consumer protection could be applied to other industries, such as day trading to protect traders using personalised protection rather than some of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches to capping leverage, for example. Also in retail financial services, behavioural profiling and implementing behavioural insights (e.g., ‘nudge principles’), which we are trialling in the gaming industry, could support the millions of UK customers who over-indebted, to better manage their finances.
How important are events such as EiG to help share knowledge, enhance professional standards and showcase the gaming industry to regulators and opinion formers?
They are really important. Some areas of technology are going through a very rapid pace of change, and understanding what the major operators and suppliers are doing is important. Networking is also a really important part of the gaming industry. The industry, whilst commercially very large, is quite small from a networking perspective, and you need to work on building relationships with your customers, stakeholders, partners, and suppliers. Gaming is also no different from any other industry in that it’s very people centric and companies like doing business with people they know, meet regularly and trust, and who are actively sharing best practice and innovation in their respective fields.
For more information on EiG and to register, visit: eigexpo.com